Tentative school budget calls for 7-cent increase

Board of Education will detail plan to public in special meeting tomorrow

By karl vilacoba
Staff Writer

By karl vilacoba
Staff Writer

BRICK — The Brick Township School District tax rate could rise 7.249 cents per $100 assessed valuation under a tentative budget that could be adopted tomorrow night.

If adopted by the board and passed by voters on April 15, the school tax could rise from about $1.395 to $1.467 per $100 assessed valuation, a school official said Monday.

The tentative budget’s numbers have changed several times in the last few weeks, and may do so again before its adoption, said Jennifer Strano, of the district’s community relations office.

The Board of Education plans to hold a special meeting Thursday night to introduce and present a detailed explanation of the 2003-04 budget to the public at Brick Township High School, Chambers Bridge Road, at 7:30 p.m.

According to tentative budget figures provided by the district last week, the school budget includes $112.6 million in total revenues/sources. This figure is comprised of $103.6 million in the general fund, which covers school operating expenses; $4.2 million in special revenues; and $4.8 in debt service.

The amount to be raised through local taxation to support the 2003-04 general fund would be $64.1 million, up from $60.4 million in 2002-03.

The amount of state funding used to support the general fund increased slightly this year. The district is anticipating $36.1 million for the 2003-04 budget, up from about $35 million provided in both the 2002-03 and 2001-02 actual budgets.

The cost per pupil is being estimated at $7,768.

Last year’s proposed school budget called for a $1.40 per $100 assessed value tax rate, up from $1.32 in 2001-02, but was defeated at the polls by only 57 votes. That figure included a 3.3-cent increase to pay off debt service already approved by voters in September of 2001, when residents came out in favor of a school district referendum project.

However, the remaining 4.7-cent increase in the general fund was cut by half a cent after going to the Township Council for review.

If the latest version of the tentative budget is adopted and passed by voters, a resident with a home valued at $150,000 would pay $108.73 more in school taxes this year.

Brick school taxes are only one portion of a property owner’s tax bill. Other taxes include municipal, fire district and county taxes, along with several other assessments.